Apple Season

Apple Season
Apple Season is Here!

I was just at the grocery store and noticed there are no more plums and peaches available, but rather so many varieties of applies. Definitely! Autumn is here. There is something about apples that take me back to my childhood days when I used to climb the apple orchard trees and pick my one apples. Such a fun excursion! I am curious if you have any fond memories of apple season?

Crunchy, tart, sweet, pies, tarts, hard, red, yellow, cores — some of the first words that come to my mine when I think of apple season.

And now my mind turns to how apples offer us an opportunity to relish the new season. There are so many things you can do with an apple — even putting them into a bowl on the counter to look at or even draw appeals.

Even as a mediation, keep your apples in mind this season:

Sketch an apple

Bake your apples — and what else to make with apples

Cut the apple peel in one long ring — I encourage you to at least try

Core an apple

Pick apples

Go apple picking

Host an apple tasting — can you taste the difference. Even better, blindfold yourself and try to guess the variety

What more can you do with your apples? You tell me. The most important thing is to be mindful that we are in apple season. Relish it!

This is Autumn!

A Plan for Autumn

A Plan for Autumn

Are you an endless summer person or one who is ready for Autumn? Recently, I was reading an article in the NYT about exactly this point in the year. It’s an important moment in the year.

During the regular years of the past, children are actually heading back to school, parents are returning to the hum of their lives with their children preoccupied for the better part of weekdays, we are turning over the closets to our sweaters and boots, apple cider and comfort foods are back in vogue, and all of us can feel the holidays coming — Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas — that is if you live in America and celebrate these holidays.

This year, this moment feels fraught. COVID is still alive and kicking around our communities. Although there is a degree of freedom that most of us did not have in the spring, it’s still advised to maintain distance, stay quarantined in your pod, and restrict what you are doing in the world. If you aren’t restricting it, somewhere guidelines are. So, now, it feels even more poignant to leave the carefree good weather days of summer where outdoor patio dining makes you feel somewhat safe to go out to eat, social distance picnics and camping kept us in real contact with others (goodbye Zoom for awhile!), and it just felt good to exercise outdoors!

So, what is your plan for Autumn? How are you going to approach this moment in the calendar year? Perhaps you are hanging on to dear life to these last days of summer? Perhaps you are already enjoying the pumpkin drinks at the coffee shop? Perhaps you are betwixt and between? It’s a moment to mark and to make a plan.

It’s going to be a different Autumn — many of the traditional activities are nil or on-line, flu season is almost here and so taking care is going to be extra important, we are moving into news media central with an election on in America this November – how will you take care, rejuvenate, stay connected, but also have space and time for you.

It’s time to make your plan for Autumn. May there be many magical moments even as we lose light and the air chills.

Book Review: Gift From the Sea

Gift from the Sea Book
A Perennial Summer Favorite Book

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is a perennial favorite book of mine.

Although there are many print runs of this book, my book looks like this one, which was printed in the 1960s. My Mother gave this book to my Grandmother. She must have read it but it sat on her bookshelves for most of her life. However, one day she gave it to me. She tracked who gave the book to whom and on which date. Family history via a book.

In any case, Gift From The Sea is an absolute favorite book of mine. Anne heads to the ocean in the book and enjoys a few weeks of her summer there as she reflects on life via the shells she finds on the beach. It is definitely written in a different time, and it is very obvious that Anne Morrow Lindbergh was a woman of great means and privilege. She had many children, but had the ability and means to remove herself from her family and spend weeks during the summer contemplating what life meant to her, especially her path as a wife and mother.

Although dated, her ideas, thoughts, and the metaphor of the seashells that she uses still resonate. I pick up this book each summer and I underline the ideas and words that resonate with me that summer and I put my initials and the month and year beside what I have underlined. In this way, I am able to track my years by what was resonating at any given time for myself. It’s become a very cool way of looking at myself and the meaning I am making in my world through the years.

This book makes space for contemplation, reflection, and gentleness as we take this journey to find the meaning of our own lives. Reading this book annually is a tradition that I look forward to each summer.

Is there a book that calls to you and that you return to year in and year out? For me, it has to be Gift From the Sea. I highly recommend it to you.

Creativity Burst: Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds – not that exciting by themselves, as are most seeds. However, think of this creative idea as planting sunshine.

We are limited in what we can do these days, but here is a quick and fun idea to do with your family. Head to your local nursery and purchase some packets of sunflower seeds.

From there, take a drive and sprinkle the seeds as you drive along. This would be best to do on a rural or country road near to where you live. Sprinkle away. If you have kids this could be quite entertaining.

That’s all! Now you have to wait for your sunshine to grow. Whether it be later in the season or next year, take a drive and take in the view of the sunshine you planted long ago. The seeds will take hold and grow. Almost a miracle.

You could also do this in your own back yard or neighborhood if you want to see your results closer to home, but I think a refreshing drive out to the country where you scatter sunflower seeds and then get to see them later is such a quaint idea. It’s one that takes both hope and patience. Whenever we plant, it is an act of not knowing if something will bloom – or not.

Just like in our lives we plant many seeds, but then we often don’t know what is going to take hold and bloom. But we plant and scatter seeds and live in hope that what we put our attention to will bloom. It’s all an act of faith.

Plant some sunshine this summer and wait. What bloomed? Perhaps you.

A Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List

The Fourth of July is over. How can it be? My Grandmother always said once the 4th is over, summer is over. I always disagreed, but inevitably I would blink and it would be fall and we would be heading back to school. Summer feels fleeting.

That’s why it may take some intention to make the most of the season, especially during this pandemic year. The months have just sort of slipped away as we have been under quarantine. Now, restrictions are lifting, but many still remain in place. And even if places are opening, it doesn’t mean that you want to engage.

So, this is a unique year to create a Summer Bucket List that suits how you are feeling and how you want to enjoy summer this year. For many, travel is off the table or rather people are taking near-to-home road trips. Perhaps that is on your summer bucket list? Heading off for a little get away near your home.

Perhaps planting a garden or tending your flowers and yard is on your bucket list. The planting probably should have been done by now, but caring for your yard is an on-going task. Taking time to dig in the dirt, care for plants and flowers, and gussying up one’s yard are all grounding tasks that can take advantage of the weather and season.

Maybe this is the year to complete an outdoor renovation project, like building a deck or putting in a shed to organize yourself. All this time at home has certainly allowed us to see what we would like to improve about it, and now that we are living in our yards with the summer season, perhaps your attention heads to a juicy project to complete this season.

Maybe you are canning and preserving your favorite summer fruits and vegetables for the fall and winter? This is an old fashioned art that may delight you this season. It’s definitely from yesterday year, but again there is something satisfying with taking the summer’s bounty and preserving it for your future enjoyment on cold, dark days.

What’s on my Summer Bucket List? I have a few things:

  1. Hike obscure trails near my home with my family.
  2. Revisit classic books.
  3. Care for my flowers — how much will they bloom before summer’s end?
  4. Renovating my home – much needed. Even undertaking it feel gigantic.
  5. Spending quality time with my pets – we are welcoming a puppy later this year and so being with my current furry friends before chaos arrives feels really important.

Feels like quite a list given I’ve got about 10 weeks left of summer. Here’s to creating a Summer Bucket List and checking off a few items between now and fall.